The Low Carb Prejudice – Start By Knowing What Is Wrong


Yesterday, in my excited confusion I forgot that I hadn’t built my 24″ box yet for my box jumps. And that I don’t have a rope for double unders. So instead I struggled through RKC warmup and TGU while the baby looked at me with a stare of utter bewilderment from her jolly jumper. I also had to coach and joined in with some of the events to get me moving. Day 8, not really a success, but day 9 is looking better already. Why? Mostly because I love bench and can’t wait to do more, but also since I am not coaching, going to look at daycares or otherwise involved in leaving my house. Apart from changing the wheel on the wife’s truck, I have nothing to do but hang out with the baby and do my workout.

The Fallacy.

Whenever I talk to people about Paleo diet the most often reaction I get is “low carb”. This pisses me off. It’s kind of like someone telling me that due to the fact that I only eat 1 breakfast I am on a restrictive low breakfast diet. Here’s a newsflash… You are only supposed to eat one breakfast! But the general population seems to be caught up in some bizarre world where everything they eat is measured, judged and assigned a specific limit APART FROM THE MOST DANGEROUS THING!

It’s easy to find protein calculators on the web, most will say you need to eat between 1 and 2.5g of protein per lb of body weight if you want to maintain your muscle mass or gain lean tissue. It is equally easy to find fat calculators that will tell you how much fat you need, what kind, when to eat it and how to avoid it. You can also drown yourself with Caloric Intake calculators based on crappy BMI calculations, crappy Body Type calculations and even crappy blood type calculations. So all this being said, why is there such a stigma attached to limiting the amount of carbohydrate you take in? It seems that the food industry that is basically controlled by the commodity companies (wheat, corn and soy) is fine with ignoring the limits that need to be placed on carb intake. Of course, if you all knew that the human body should be having a maximum of 150g of carbohydrate a day the demand for these commodities would plummet along with metabolic disease rates, diabetes rates and obesity levels. However, since it seems to be that we can’t vilify carbs at the risk of being labelled as extreme, what are we to do?

It seems as though there are several solutions to the problem of humans eating too much carbohydrate and at the same time increasing our assistance to our ailing planet and our ailing animals. For example, ask yourself why we are feeding animals with human food? Shouldn’t animals be eating things that we can’t so that we can use the human feed to feed the hungry? Let the cows eat grass, it is what they were meant for. Convert some of the wheat and corn and soy hectares to pasture and let the animals eat food that will increase both the quality and the saleability of the meat. it’s not just that they are not designed to eat wheat and corn, it is actually killing them in the process. The whole notion of feeding cattle to death with human food doesn’t seem to bother too many people, mostly because they have been duped by the meat industry (yes, I am not just picking on the commodity farmers here) into turning a blind eye.

While you are at it, let’s stop eating the corn all together and use it to make biofuel that will prevent the burning of fossil fuels and remove our dependency on oil from the middle east. Although this process is shunned by those who believe it is too costly to be feasible I say it is just a case of volume. The more you produce, the better you get at it, the lower the cost of production. That is why the target date for when we will run out of oil keeps getting further away, as technology increases, efficiency increases.

Yes, I am way off on a tangent here but let’s start to wrap this up. The SAD (nice acronym by the way) or Standard American Diet is filled with carbohydrate. In fact, the SAD should be labelled as a High Carb Diet. We don’t need to defend our choices of sticking to a 150g carb a day lifestyle, we need to ensure that anyone who eats more than that realizes that they are on a High Carb Regimen that will make them sick. I remember throughout my life my father used to tell me that when he was a kid everyone smoked because they didn’t know it was bad for them. In the same way, years from now I am certain we will look back at the 80s and 90s and 00s as the time when people ate a high carb diet because they didn’t realize how bad it was for them. Just in the same way that pop is as bad as drugs, high carb diets are as bad as cigarettes. It’s about time that people realized that the standard level of carb intake for an active individual should be 150g. Problem is, with muffins running around at 50g, bagels at anywhere from 50-70g and a regular pasta dinner pulling a massive 120-150g it’s not surprising that the Average Canadian or American or Brit is overloaded with carbs every day. If we are going to change the way we eat, live and survive as a species, it’s time we started changing the way we think.

Round 4 Day 35 – Chest and Tri, no rest. FitDay and the Protein Issue.

How much is enough?

So my weight this morning was a low 266.8. That makes 15.2 lbs lost on the Paleo diet and thanks to FitDay I know why. I am having a hard time keeping up with the amount of calories I need to keep my fat ass fat. Yesterday I was short almost 1500 calories but still over the 2000 calorie minimum that I feel is necessary. I seriously can’t stuff any more fruit and veg down my throat in a day. I am going to have to start increasing my protein which led me to calculate my protein needs…

I used to calculate my protein requirements when I was into the heavy weightlifting since to a “bodybuilder” protein is like air, without it you will wither and die. According to THIS I need 360g of protein a day, even using just my lean mass by subtracting my fat% I am still rated at 300g a day. Fit day claims that my 106g of protein that I ate yesterday was already 190% of my requirement meaning they estimate my protein requirement at a minuscule 56g! So why the discrepancy? Well, the obvious thing is my frame size and musculature, but even taking into account a LARGE frame says I need 115g. Interesting… Fitday is obviously not geared towards the athletes among us. Using the lean mass approach, the people at criticalbench claim you require 1.14g per lb of lean mass, which for me would equate to 228g of protein. That is sounding better. However I am disturbed, nay, astonished at the vast difference in calculations here. It does show however what I have believed for a long time, you can’t rely on a single source of information to get your requirements. Being exposed to the bodybuilding world for so long made me very aware of my protein requirements but what about all those people out there who are working out, using programs like Fit Day to calculate their requirements and leaving themselves woefully short on protein? You could say that someone who is serious about their workouts wouldn’t rely on FitDay and I hope they wouldn’t but I would be naive to think that is the case. Apparently the RDA for protein is .75g per lb of lean mass. Even using that calculation, I should be at 150g, not the 56 that FitDay claimed. So what is the issue with FitDay and their protein? It seems as if there is nobody out there who has noticed this problem. People are using FitDay to track their nutrients but nobody seems to have noticed how low the protein intake is. maybe it’s just me, but the extra calories I am missing will be in the form of protein from here. My goal is set to around 200g of protein a day given that I am pretty active and need to maintain my muscle mass. I didn’t go through years of torture building muscle so I could let it go to waste. The other side of the equation is what your body is doing to create or use the amino acids required to build protein. I mean protein doesn’t have to come from protein, as long as your body has the right amino acids it will make the protein. Is it possible then that ingesting low amounts of protein would be fine as long as you are getting enough amino acids (specifically essential amino acids) to build muscle. There is a ton of information out there about protein but seemingly little about how the body actually uses amino acids (and from where) to build the muscle tissue. Before this turns into a protein rant, I think I need to do some more reading. If my protein level is to remain low, thereby allowing me to keep my fat levels low also then where else do I need to get the amino acids from to provide the appropriate level of building blocks for the muscle. I am not even talking about ADDING more muscle, just having enough to repair the damage done by the workouts I am doing. It appears that although the meat protein contains all 8 essential amino acids (Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Valine) in spades, you can in fact get all 8 from other foods (something which the vegetarians out there will no doubt think is common knowledge).

This does not answer my question though. How much food and which food do you need to provide the essential amino acids that you would get from meat protein? If you are eating enough vegetable based amino acids does that then reduce the amount of “protein” that you need in a day. I would say yes that is exactly the case, but if so, by how much? This is getting complicated…

Yesterday I did a chest and tricep workout, just flat bench for chest and for triceps a mixture of narrow grip bench and free dips. It wasn’t a crazy hard workout, 35 min long but I did get to complete failure on the dips. I am only going up to bodyweight for bench (275) and mostly will stay around 255 for my working max. Mostly because I can’t be bothered changing the plates all the time since I have a limited selection but also because I don’t want to stress my shoulders since they are getting a heavy workload as it is.

FitDay is still bothering me… What else could be out of whack?